"Aimed at die-hard Yamaha fans"... do they mean the few ones still holding to the original 750 Super Tenerè, the ones that haven't traded in their excellent but aging machine for a BMW? That's what i call a niche market!
"Apparently. Yamaha was keen to stress that the ST wasn’t introduced to tempt BMW riders away from the globetrotting German mode" That's strange, because that's exactly what BMW has done over the past five years: take customers away from the Japanese, particularly Honda and Yamaha which literally owned the big on/off market in the '90s and withdrew almost completely because "this segment just isn't big enough to justify further investments" (Honda brass asked why Honda was sticking to the mediocre Varadero and not coming up with something people would actually like to buy). I bet somebody took a deep dive in Tokyo Bay when sales figure for the R1200GS arrived in 2005.
Japanese and Italian brands were taken completely by surprise by the ferocity of the Bavarian assault but just didn't care (or pretended to) as long as the going was good and the market grew at a tumultuous pace since there was plenty of dough for everyone. Now the market is contracting to its pre-boom dimensions and BMW is still selling bikes by the truckload while the others are taking the beating of their life.
I know work on completely new bikes starts years before they are thrown on the market but I cannot help to wonder that both Honda and Yamaha are being pressed into showing their stockholders some results by rushing in new models before they are fully ready. Honda clearly sent out the VFR1200F before its time and the bike is plagued by electronics gremlins; not only that but the bike on which it was modeled (K1200S) was replaced by the improved K1300S further highlighting its shortcomings (chiefly weight and cheap suspensions). Yamaha probably decided to play it safe with the ST to avoid a similar embarrassment, resulting in a heavier, less appealing bike than they would have liked, but a bike which could be launched earlier. It will have to "make do" until an improved version will roll out. Or so I'd like to think.
Yamaha prices in general have shot way up in the past 4 years . Fortunately , within one year many dealers here in Canada will discount this bike by almost 40% just as they did with the MT-01 and R1 .:clapper
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